Swerve Strickland, currently thriving in AEW, recently opened up about his journey and challenges in the wrestling world. His ascent in AEW, marked by significant victories like defeating "Hangman" Adam Page at AEW Full Gear and triumphing in the first round of the Continental Classic, contrasts sharply with his experience in WWE, where he was known as Isaiah "Swerve" Scott.
Strickland's release from WWE in November 2021 paved the way for his AEW success, but it also left him reflecting on missed opportunities and unfulfilled potential during his time in NXT. In a candid interview on "Insight With Chris Van Vliet," Strickland didn't hold back in expressing his frustrations with WWE, particularly with how his efforts and contributions were often overlooked.
He recounted an instance where his promotion of WWE content on social media, such as upcoming shows on Peacock, received no acknowledgment from WWE management. However, when he expressed feelings of being underappreciated, it quickly caught the attention of the higher-ups.
This inconsistency in recognition was a significant point of contention for Strickland, who felt his talents and potential were not fully utilized or appreciated by WWE.
Strickland's WWE Ambition
Strickland's journey in WWE was also marked by his continuous efforts to prove himself to key figures like Paul "Triple H" Levesque.
He frequently approached Levesque, inquiring about what it would take to become one of the premier talents in NXT. Despite his consistent appearances on major NXT events like Takeovers and Worlds Collide, and regular TV spots, Strickland felt his ambitions and desire to excel were not met with the enthusiasm or opportunities he expected.
A pivotal meeting with former WWE executive Canyon Ceman opened new doors for Strickland, allowing him more direct interaction with top WWE officials like Shawn Michaels. This access enabled him to be more forthright in his communications with management.
Strickland's persistent inquiries to Levesque about becoming a top talent, which he admits could have been perceived as disrespectful, were part of his strategy to demonstrate his serious commitment and belief in his abilities.
Strickland's WWE journey, marked by a mix of appreciation for the opportunities given and frustration over missed chances, offers a compelling insight into the challenges faced by professional wrestlers in navigating their careers.
His experience underscores the complexities of the wrestling industry, where talent and ambition often clash with the realities of corporate decision-making and recognition. As he continues to make waves in AEW, Strickland's story serves as both a testament to his resilience and a reflection of the often unpredictable path of a professional wrestler's career.